By Aires Rodrigues
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has made yet another tall promise, this time that the PWD, RTO and the Traffic Police will within 15 days prepare a plan to curtail road accidents. Let us hope that this assurance does not end up as the rest, never to be honoured. Goa desperately needs proper traffic management. Even the capital city is now without a Traffic cell, it having been senselessly shifted to Santa Cruz over a year ago.
The traffic chaos in Panaji is horrendous. We had been assured that once the schools in the city were moved to Cujira that the traffic mess would ease. But it has just not happened. The very busy Dayanand Bandodkar Marg is a no parking – no stopping road but the Casino vehicles and Tourists taxis have been parking around the clock in total breach of law while two-wheelers are lying on the footpaths inconveniencing the pedestrians. The traffic police and transport department have not been acting against these blatant violations which makes one to believe that their palms are well greased by the Casino lobby.
The traffic chaos near the Panaji Church is another nightmare while no action is being taken against double parking on the other two very busy roads of Panaji, 18th June Road and the Atmaram Borkar Road. It appears that Panaji, our once beautiful and serene capital is both offshore and onshore controlled and policed by the Casino Lobby and the politicians who are on their payroll or roulette wheel rather than by the Traffic Police. Road safety and the ability of innocent people to go about their normal business is left to chance with less odds of success by the day. A congested and chaotic capital is also an eyesore for the already diminishing number of quality tourists.
Unless and until the Traffic Police is rid of corruption, demonstrates zero tolerance to road safety abuses and takes total control of our roads, proper traffic management will always prove to be impossible and innocent people will continue to suffer! Words rather than urgent action from the authorities will be just hot air or water under the Mandovi Bridge!